Marlene Perez's Dead is the New Black was a murder mystery and a vampire book. Brilliant! When popular trend setter Samantha Devereaux comes back from summer vacation, she's sporting a new look. It's Cheerleader Goth, which sends the real Goth students into a panic-- they start wearing pink and green, cardigans and pearls! However, Daisy Giordano, whose mother is a psychic who helps the police with murder investigations, thinks more is going on than just a style change. When cheerleaders start to fall mysteriously ill, she joins the cheerleading squad and has a romance, uncovers lots of freakiness in Nightshade, and helps squash the evil afoot. For now. Very, very clever and enjoyable!
The sequels are Dead is a State of Mind, (From Follett: When a gorgeous new student's prediction that a teacher will be murdered comes true, seventeen-year-old Daisy is determined to solve the crime, but when all signs point to the killer being a werewolf, she fears she is in over her head.) and Dead is So Last Year (Again, Follett: In the beach town of Nightshade, California, home to both human and supernatural beings, the Giordano sisters find summer employment and uncover mysteries involving doppelgangers and oversized football players. ) They are available in prebinds. Should have ordered two of each!
For the boys, it's Kevin Emerson's Oliver Nocture series. In The Vampire's Photograph, Oliver realizes that someone has broken into the decrepit house above his family's basement lair, and is trying to take pictures of him. He doesn't mind all that much-- he's always felt at odds with his family and a little, well, queasy about the whole vampire thing. And for good reason. It turns out that he's part human, and his involvement with humans leads him into some dangerous situations. The details about Oliver's vampire world are fresh and fun (young vampire's need a lot of sugar!), and this is perfect for the boys who feel like they need to read Twilight but don't really like it. More serious than Brewer's Vladimir Tod and not as violent as Shan, this is a great series for middle school boys. Again, available in prebinds and should have bought two of each.
#2: The Sunlight Slayings
#3: Blood Ties
#4: The Demon Hunter
#5: Eternal Tomb, coming April 1, 2009